Variable Temperatures

Wednesday:

We awoke to a temperature of around 7 degrees. By the time we had finished breakfast at a local café, gassed up and hit the road there was a heatwave and it was 9 degrees. Gradually during the day, the temperatures rose and eventually reached 29 degrees by the time we rode into our destination of Longreach. Huge temperature range – yesterday it started at nine and got to 26 degrees by around 4pm.

During the day we were on back country roads some narrow one track sealed interspersed with around 150kms of gravel most pretty good, hard packed dirt.  Some was pretty tricky with large rows of fresh dirt which was pretty hard to cross. This was a result of graders working and fixing the road worse for motorbikes! Back on seal we soon turned off the seal onto a red dirt and loose sand road which looked promising. After a few kms we met a friendly farmer who said that we were on a no-through road on his private property. He said the road we were on used to be a railway line but of course as is the way nowadays many lines have been ripped up.. He was on a Honda CRF230 farm bike. He was interested in what we were doing and where we were going and especially Ian’s bike which is a Portuguese AJP which is a bit unusual He was ok about the fact we were on his property. However, he said there was no access so we had to back track.

Earlier we had got onto a gravel road that showed on our devices went through in the direction we had routed. However, after a few kms on this road we encountered a gate across the road. It wasn’t locked but had a sign on which said before accessing you must contact the property owner. No phone number so we had little choice but to circle back and rejoin our route further along.

Wildlife today was one massive wild pig and quite a few groups of Black Kites feeding on roadkill. They are often slow to fly out of our way as we approach but so far, no strikes.
Into Barcaldine for lunch which is a very pleasant country town. Here we got talking to a group of Grey Nomads (2 couples). One couple had a fantastic rig,  a Chevy Silverado with a tinny on the roof mounted on a liteweight trailer which they could unload electronically and a large off-road caravan. They were on a 3-month trip and heading for Broome to go fishing – from where we met them about 3500kms across some pretty harsh countryside.

The last 100kms into Longreach from Barcaldine was on fast seal all the way. In Longreach we had booked an Air B & B – an old workers cottage. Very quaint, complete with an Argar type kitchen cooker (not in use) all very authentic. In the back garden was an old Toyota Landcruiser (heat your heart out Brenton) just waiting to be restored. Home cooked dinner, BBQ’d sausages (Frizz) with pepper gravy (superb – I made it) & veges,-  broccolli, sweet potatoes & carrot (Ian). A great day. 407kms.

Thursday:

Rest day. Time for some bike maintenance,  chain adjustments & lubes, clean air filters, change the oil on Richard’s DRZ & shorten the chain on Ian’s bike as it had run out of adjustment. Lots of clothes washing and then a visit to the Qantas Museum which was very good.  Longreach is the birthplace of Qantas. Tonight another home cooked meal this time a Frizz specialty. Salmon with pesto baby spinach & curly pasta. It’s a tough life but someone’s got to do it.

Tomorrow back on the road to Clermont.

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